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Innovator in residence

The University has established an Innovator in Residence position and has appointed Bill Tai, an investment manager with Charles River Ventures in the US and an international leader in digital investment.

The aim of the position is to inspire and encourage innovation and entrepreneurship in digital technology. The position has led to the establishment of the OzAPP Awards and the annual WestTech Fest.


Bill Tai is a leading venture capitalist and sponsored athlete in kiteboarding. He has funded more than a dozen start-ups that grew to become public companies, serving on the Board of Directors of seven publicly-listed companies that emerged from his portfolio. He is currently Chairman of Maxthon Inc and Treasure Data. Tai is an active angel investor, having personally funded companies such as Tweetdeck / Twitter,, Treasure Data, Miselu, and VideoEgg (SayMedia). He is a partner of several funds at Charles River Ventures where he represents CRV on the board of Glyde, Maxthon and Scribd. Prior to establishing CRV’s Silicon Valley office, Tai co-founded IPInfusion as Executive Chairman, founded iAsiaWorks as Chairman and CEO, and founded Tradebeam as President.

As an Olympic Ambassador for the International Kiteboarding Association, Tai was part of the campaign that earned kiteboarding a spot in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Along with pro kiteboarder Susi Mai, Tai also established the “MaiTai”, a high-profile annual networking event on Maui bringing together industry leading tech start-up founders with pro kiters from around the world.

With an MBA from Harvard Graduate School of Business, a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois, Tai has also been named Adjunct Professor of Innovation at Curtin University in Australia. Tai has embraced Australia’s progressive start-up industry (as well as some of the world’s best kiteboarding conditions), having funded companies here such as Bubble Gum interactive, and Shoes of Prey.